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Sales Productivity

The Value of Converting an Administrative Hour to Sales

Only 41% of salespeople’s time is spent selling by phone or face-to-face. That is according to a 2011 CSO Insight survey that was highlighted by Selling Power article recently. In 2006, it was 46%, according to the same survey. Clearly, if you believe, as we do, a critical component of effective selling is spending time with potential buyers, the trend is not positive.

Nineteen percent of their time is spent on meetings or administrative tasks. Ouch. Think about the value of that time, if it was spent selling instead.

Not my sales force, you say. Do you really know how much time your sales team spends after hours to input notes or do research? Likely, you won’t hear about it unless you listen and watch carefully. Sure, sales is not a 40 hour a week career. However, when admin tasks creep into selling time (they inevitably do, if you don’t address it), your sales team becomes less effective and efficient.

How do any of these mobile productivity tools help to generate revenue? That is one of the questions we get about FatStax frequently. One of the ways is to free up more time for selling activities.

Converting administrative time to selling time
The value of moving some of that admin time to selling time can be considerable. Let’s use some specific figures.

Estimate that a fully loaded sales position in the field costs $250,000 annually. That includes salary, commissions, benefits, and related expenses to supporting that position. That’s $125 per hour for that headcount ($250K divided by 2000 total working hours in a year).

The more critical number is the revenue plan assigned to the territory. Estimate the projected revenues for that territory at $2 million annually. That means it needs to generate $1,000 per hour.

Each rep then is generating $875 net revenue per hour ($1,000 minus $125).

What is the value of converting one hour of administrative or meeting time to selling time in a month? A week? A day? Using these figures, the net value of that converting one hour per day is $17,500 a month.

Don’t think it’s possible to shift that many hours? Ok, use a more conservative figure. How about 1 hour per week? That’s still $3,500 per month and $42,000 annually per territory.

How mobile tools convert administrative time to selling time

Which mobile tool enables your reps to convert administrative time to selling time? Devices, like the iPad, need to be paired with sales productivity apps or services to be called a “mobile sales productivity tool.”

There is no single app that fits that description. Depending on your sales process workflow, several can be included within a “sales app portfolio.” Our goal is for FatStax be a part of that solution, but there are several that can be included in that list.

One primary way sales apps can accomplish this is to help reps complete administrative tasks during downtime within the selling day. Even better are sales apps can accomplish tasks in real time, at the time they are created. Better service and nothing forgotten which is possible when all the tasks are done at the end of the day.

This means that reps can use prime selling time for selling and reduce the temptation to cut out early to start on that list of follow-up tasks they can’t get done in the field.

When you evaluate the payoff for mobile sales productivity tools, especially enterprise apps, consider your sales process and how completing the essential tasks faster can provide more time for selling. What’s the value of that time in your organization?

What mobility apps have helped you increase your selling time and optimize down time? We’d love to hear about them – let us know in the comments below.

About J. Rusty Bishop, PhD

I've spent the last 5 years helping great brands create amazing experiences for their sales teams during one on one sales interactions. Helping sales people do their job is my passion. When I'm not working, I am on the ocean fishing in San Diego, Ca.